Online Exploration: Comets


See detailed teacher pages index below

The Online Exploration Comets includes three separate activities:
“Make a Comet,” “Comet Tails,” and “Comet Facts, Myths & Legends.”

“Make a Comet” and “Comet Tails” Education Standards
Grade Level: 6-8 — Target Grade: 7
Learning Outcomes Project 2061 Standards
Upon completion of “Make a Comet” and “Comet Tails” students will be able to explore the nature and composition of comets in order to create their own comets, and identify different types of tails.

4. The Physical Setting:
A. The Universe.

By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that:

  • Large numbers of chunks of rock orbit the sun. Some of those that the earth meets in its yearly orbit around the sun glow and disintegrate from friction as they plunge through the atmosphere and sometimes impact the ground. Other chunks of rocks mixed with ice have long, off- center orbits that carry them close to the sun, where the sun's radiation (of light and particles) boils off frozen material from their surfaces and pushes it into a long, illuminated tail.

Learning Outcome Project 2061 Standards
“Comet Tails” Education Standards
Grade level: 6-8 — Target grade: 7
After using teacher-provided materials to learn about comet composition and tails, students will identify different types of comet tails.

4. The Physical Setting:
A: The Universe.

By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that:

  • Large numbers of chunks of rock orbit the sun. Some of those that the earth meets in its yearly orbit around the sun glow and disintegrate from friction as they plunge through the atmosphere and sometimes impact the ground. Other chunks of rocks mixed with ice have long, off- center orbits that carry them close to the sun, where the sun's radiation (of light and particles) boils off frozen material from their surfaces and pushes it into a long, illuminated tail.

Learning Outcomes Common Core Standards for English Language Arts
“Comet Facts, Myths & Legends” Education Standards
Grade level: 6-8 — Target grade: 7
Students will read to learn about comet facts, history, and discoveries.

Grades 6-8 Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.8
Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.


Additional information for using this Online Exploration
 

Prerequisites
Students should:

  • Understand that the Solar System consists of planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and the Sun.
  • Recognize that there are chemical elements and compounds.
  • Recognize that the Sun is the center of our solar system, around which other celestial bodies orbit.
  • Be able to read grade-level appropriate material.
  • Understand the difference between a fact, a legend and a myth.

Common misconceptions
Students may think that:

  • The solar system only consists of the Sun and planets.
  • Comets are not a part of the solar system.
  • Comets are similar to asteroids.
  • All comets always look the same and don’t change their appearance.
  • Comets come from regions outside the solar system.
  • Comets are composed of the same material as asteroids.
  • Comets always have tails.

Teacher Pages Index
| Description/Lesson Overview | How to prepare for an "Online exploration" | Subject | Concepts | Prerequisites | Process Skills Acquired | Target Audience/Grade Levels | Preparation Time | Execution Time | Field Tested | Last Update |
| Science Background | Words from the Scientist | References |
| Goal/Purpose | Desired Learning Outcomes | Prerequisites | New Vocabulary | General Misconceptions | Preparation Time | Execution Time | Physical Layout of the Room | Materials | Procedure/Directions | Evaluation/Assessment | Solutions | Follow-up Activities/Extensions | One-Computer Classrooms | Classrooms without Computers | Home Schooler |
Learning objectives matched with relevant education standards.
| Other Resources Related to the Lesson | Other Resources Available at the Institute | Other Resources Available Outside the Institute | Images Used in the Lesson | References |
Information about the authors.
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